DUBAI- Andrew Strauss has confirmed England will be without first-choice seamer Tim Bresnan for Saturday's opening tour match in the United Arab Emirates. England reported on Thursday that Bresnan had suffered minor discomfort around his right elbow after surgery on the joint a month ago.

Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett are therefore both in the reckoning to play in the three-day match against an International Cricket Council Combined XI at Dubai Sports City. Bresnan sat out morning practice, and Tremlett - who has an eye infection - took only a limited part as England went through a series of simulated match scenarios in the middle on the second ground at the ICC's GCA.

Strauss said: "Tim Bresnan, in particular, has still got a bit of swelling in his elbow as a reaction to his operation, so he's not quite ready yet. We're aiming for the second warm-up game with him." It seems likely the Yorkshireman will need to play in that three-day match, starting at the same venue next week, if he is to take part in the first of three Tests against Pakistan on January 17.

Strauss added: "Chris Tremlett has a bit of a sore eye at the moment, but that is nothing of great concern to us. It's just niggles more than anything." World number ones England face a stern test of their credentials against Pakistan, and opening opponents drawn from the cream of the ICC's associate and affiliate teams - captained by Ireland's Will Porterfield - should give them ideal preparation. "We're very excited to get playing," said Strauss. "We've had three really good days of practice, at these fantastic facilities here, and we want to hit the ground running."